Ok, so we're going out on a limb here and saying it: former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is likely going to jail for his role in the Billion Dollar Whale scandal (Najib and Jho Low, a businessman, oversaw the pilfering of billions of dollars from Malaysian fund 1MDB and the proceeds went on politics, mansions, partying, and even to make The Wolf of Wall Street).
Since Malaysia's High Court sentenced Najib in July 2020 to 12 years in jail for charges including money laundering, you'd be forgiven for thinking he might never actually serve time. That's the view of a senior Asian government official I know – as well as the more cynical among us.
It's not hard to see why people take this view. Najib has appealed his sentence, and, for the past two years, he has been allowed to live a normal life. He's campaigned for his political party, hung out with Malaysian royalty ... and he even flew to Singapore for the birth of his grandchild.
But now, Najib's coming to the end of the road. In late July, the Federal Court (Malaysia's highest court) rejected a bid to postpone a decision on his appeal. The court will hear his case between August 15 and 26 and is not permitting further delays.
Najib is running out of time, and here's why ...